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Ghostwire: Tokyo gameplay shows a spooky, spellcasting tour of terror through modern Japan

In other words, it’s strawberry shortcake with bending

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Ghostwire: Tokyo, the next game from The Evil Within developer Tango Gameworks and Bethesda Softworks, has been shrouded in mystery since it was first revealed in 2019. But on Thursday, Sony and Tango offered all-new details about (and first extended gameplay of) the upcoming PlayStation 5 exclusive, which is slated for a March 25 release on console and Windows PC.

During a new video showcase, Tango Gameworks founder Shinji Mikami asked his colleagues to describe Ghostwire: Tokyo, soliciting diverse responses. Character designer Reiko Hiroshima called it “paranormal,” while programmer Tsuyoshi Okugawa described the game simply as “authentic Tokyo.” Game designer Suguru Murakoshi, however, had an unexpected response: “strawberry shortcake.”

“The origins of it are truly Japanese,” Murakoshi explained. “In a Japanese studio, and a game set in Japan, it’s a game where everyone can find something to love. With some sweet and tangy parts, just like a strawberry shortcake.”

In less abstract terms, Ghostwire: Tokyo is about a mass paranormal event in Tokyo. The city’s residents disappear, a deathly fog overtakes much of the city, and it’s up to protagonist Akito and his partner KK — a spirit who inhabits Akito’s body and grants him supernatural powers — to cleanse Shibuya’s streets of yokai, ghosts, Slender salarymen, headless schoolkids, and other paranormal creatures. Trying to stop Akito and KK is a mysterious and malicious masked man named Hannya.

A monster attacks in first-person in a screenshot from Ghostwire: Tokyo Image: Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks

Ghostwire: Tokyo is unlike Tango Gameworks’ earlier catalog. It’s a first-person spellcasting action-adventure game, not a linear survival horror game. There’s similarity to Bethesda’s existing catalog of open-world adventures and first-person shooters. But in Ghostwire: Tokyo, your weapons are your hands and the monsters you slay are inspired by Japanese legends and folklore.

“The power of the hands plays such an important role,” game director Kenji Kimura says. Akito will be able to manipulate the elements — earth, wind, fire, and water — against strange creatures. He’ll also get a bow and arrow, grapple-hook his way across rooftops, and use stealth to overcome combat situations. And it’s not just the ghosts and demons trying to stop Akito from succeeding; Tokyo itself will get twisted and corrupted to mess with our hero’s mind.

Ghostwire: Tokyo arrives March 25, officially, on PlayStation 5 (where it will be a one-year console exclusive) and Windows PC. Early access to the game on March 22 is available through Ghostwire: Tokyo’s Deluxe Edition.

The next level of puzzles.

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